Full Details of the BIBJ Millennial Playlist Hullabaloo are available here. Today's entries are #99: Pillar of Salt by The Thermals (2006) AND #100: Thrash Unreal by Against Me! (2007).
This is a double entry to cover both today and tomorrow! Both of these albums are excellent in their own right, but both also left me with a familiar feeling. It's the impression you get from a band when you think to yourself "The 16-year-old version of me would think this was the greatest thing ever."
Starting with Against Me!, the first time I heard New Wave, I thought to myself "This is a band who was clearly listening to NOFX and Mr. T Experience at the same age I was." While I haven't felt the urge to listen to either of those bands in years, one still holds a fondness for the dozens of car rides soundtracked by something that allowed you to feel critically superior to classmates rolling around with the soundtrack to Murder Was the Case masquerading as legitimate hip-hop. So while I feel a bit old to be the target audience for the Against Me! album, the songs are there, and it's comforting that some adolescents will relate to this album the way I related to Punk in Drublic.
The Thermals wear their 1990's heritage proudly as well, as the Sonic Youth, Nirvana, and Green Day covers at Pitchfork fest proved. The influence of Operation Ivy, Bad Religion, and Fugazi come through nicely, with a substantial dose of biblically influenced lyrics. They also put together one of the most creative videos of '07, which is proof that even a band playing in a white room can be a compelling watch, budget be damned.
Pillar of Salt
What's the greatest thing about this video? The dancing baby? The non-dancing Colin Meloy? No sir. Check again around the 43 second mark.
It's nearly as touching as hanging a "Family Love Michael" banner.